FTC Holds Hearing on Restrictions Imposed by Manufacturers

On July 16, the Federal Trade Commission held a workshop entitled “Nixing the Fix.” The workshop brought together manufacturers, lawmakers, NGO’s, and trade association representatives to review current thoughts on right to repair and restrictions imposed by manufacturers. The panels were somewhat dominated by right to repair advocates. However, the manufacturers, primarily represented by Walter Alcorn of CTA, pointed out several issues with the right to repair proposal. Specifically, their concern is the potential dangers in unskilled or untrained parties attempting repairs and the potential for poor quality parts to be used as part of the repairs.

Right to repair advocates encouraged legislation or other government advocacy that would promote parts availability, repair procedure availability, and more repair friendly design. No definitive next steps resulted from the meeting. However, the FTC did encourage further comments to be submitted for their review. The comment period ends on September 16, 2019. Comments can be submitted here

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